February 9, 2021 by Utkarsh Akhouri
EVs are just beginning to emerge. Even though the stock and sales of EVs are growing, they are currently a small fraction of the market. However, they are set to influence the largest component of emissions in the WCI market. Transportation makes up 49% of California 2020 emissions and 73% of Quebec emissions. They will also heavily influence the electricity market in California which makes up 15% of California emissions.
Till date, the role of EVs has been limited, as outlined in Fig 1 and 2, showing that EVs represent less than 1% of the stock of vehicles on the road in California. In Quebec, this is even lower.
California has a goal of 5 million ZEVs on the roads by 2030 (80% sales). Even if EV sales reach 80% of sales by 2030, it takes another 10 years before the stock of vehicles reaches that level. This can be interpreted as a lag effect on the expected impact of EV driven mandates on zero emission and climate goals.
Based on this target we have modeled the growth of EV for 3 scenarios and the results are presented in figure 3
However, as the sales of EVs pick up, they are expected to have a two-fold impact:
While overall energy required by the state goes down, electricity demand goes up by 7% in 2030 and about 30% by 2040. We see a steeper decline in emissions in the 2030-2040 timeframe (Fig 4), when (a) renewables become a mainstay and (b) electric vehicles start replacing a majority of the existing stock of gasoline-vehicles on the road. While the graph below is specific to California, a similar phenomenon is modeled for Quebec.
Sales of EVs in 2021 and 2022 will be leading indicators of the pace at which EVs will play a role in 2021-2030.
 Output from the CarbonOutlook model which presently extends to 2040
 The impact of greening in freight and commercial vehicles has not been factored in this scenario
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